Europe News

Trump briefed on Ukraine as he ponders putting off Putin meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on tensions between Russia and Ukraine as he considers whether to cancel a meeting this weekend in Argentina with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.

Trump on Tuesday had threatened to cancel the meeting in the wake of Russia’s capture of three Ukrainian naval ships and their crew on Sunday, telling the Washington Post he was awaiting a full report from his national security team.

The official said Trump was updated on Ukraine.

“The president is receiving regular briefings on the Russia/Ukraine situation from his national security team, including briefings Monday, Tuesday afternoon and again today. We will keep you posted when there is additional public information or any policy announcements on this matter,” the official said.

A second official said no decision had been made about the Putin meeting, scheduled to take place on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend.

Russia opened fire on the Ukrainian boats and then seized them and their crew on Sunday near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow and Kiev have tried to pin the blame on each other for the incident.

The U.S. State Department urged European nations on Tuesday to do more to assist Ukraine in its standoff with Russia.

Trump had told the Post: “Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I won’t even have the meeting ... I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all.”

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by James Dalgleish